James Baillie hoping to follow Tootle and become a first-team regular in the future
James Baillie, 18, is hoping to follow his fellow Academy graduate Matt Tootle and become a first team regular in the future. The talented right-back has today signed his first professional contract with the club and although it is unfair to compare him directly with the club captain and double player-of-the-year winner, Baillie understandably sees Tootle as an inspiration.
Warrington-born Baillie has signed a two-year deal with an option for a third year and his willingness to attack in the final third of the pitch is certainly similar to that of Tootle.
On signing his first professional deal with Crewe, James told Crewe Alex Player:“I’m absolutely delighted, it was a big relief. When I found out the decision, I was over the moon. I’m obviously gutted for all the other lads because they were all good players too, but it’s just a relief that I’ve got the 'yes' and hopefully I can prove to them that it’s the correct decision.
“I’ve fully enjoyed coming through the Academy and I want to crack on for next season and hopefully impact and push towards getting into the team.
“I’ve put in all the work through the scholarship which has paid off now, now it’s going to get harder, so I’ve got to keep working hard and improving to get as close to the team as I can.
“Matt (Tootle) is a great inspiration. Every Saturday when we come to the home games I watch him specifically to see what he does so I can improve my game.
Baillie added: “I’ve had conversations with him and spoken to him to ask him things. If I could be as successful as him then that would be great. To get towards that amount of appearances at Crewe like he has would be amazing.”